modify

verb
mod·​i·​fy | \ ˈmä-də-ˌfī How to pronounce modify (audio) \
modified; modifying

Definition of modify

transitive verb

1 : to make less extreme : moderate traffic rules were modified to let him pass— Van Wyck Brooks
2a : to limit or restrict the meaning of especially in a grammatical construction In the phrase "the red hat," the adjective "red" modifies the noun "hat."
b : to change (a vowel) by umlaut
3a : to make minor changes in had to modify his plan
b : to make basic or fundamental changes in often to give a new orientation to or to serve a new end the wing of a bird is an arm modified for flying

intransitive verb

: to undergo change

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Other Words from modify

modifiability \ ˌmä-​də-​ˌfī-​ə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce modifiability (audio) \ noun
modifiable \ ˈmä-​də-​ˌfī-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce modifiable (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for modify

Synonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for modify

change, alter, vary, modify mean to make or become different. change implies making either an essential difference often amounting to a loss of original identity or a substitution of one thing for another. changed the shirt for a larger size alter implies a difference in some particular respect without suggesting loss of identity. slightly altered the original design vary stresses a breaking away from sameness, duplication, or exact repetition. vary your daily routine modify suggests a difference that limits, restricts, or adapts to a new purpose. modified the building for use by the disabled

Examples of modify in a Sentence

We can help you modify an existing home or build a new one. He modified the recipe by using oil instead of butter. She has modified her views on the matter. The design was modified to add another window. We played a modified version of our favorite game. Adjectives usually modify nouns, and adverbs usually modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. In the phrase “a red hat,” the adjective “red” modifies the noun “hat.”
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Recent Examples on the Web Unlike traditional mapmaking, which is mostly about documentation, geodesign actually informs the design process and affects outcomes of what is built, preserved, modified, or otherwise changed in the real world. Bran Ferren, Quartz, "Geodesign is going to change the design world as we know it," 13 Sep. 2019 Harley’s most important relationships (with the Joker and with Poison Ivy) are modified in fascinating ways while still retaining their core dynamics. Christian Holub, EW.com, "5 comics to read in September: Endings and beginnings for fairies and gods," 4 Sep. 2019 The party in some states is considering modifying or canceling the 2020 caucuses. Hailey Waller, Bloomberg.com, "Pondering a Bid, Mark Sanford Says Trump Doesn’t Deserve Second Term," 18 Aug. 2019 Unlike Android’s mobile operating system, manufacturers aren’t allowed to modify or customize Android TV like OnePlus does with its OxygenOS Android fork. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Upcoming OnePlus TVs will run Android, new listing suggests," 7 Aug. 2019 The state's lawsuit outlines a 180 day time limit in which the Settlers Walk Homeowners Association and MCS Land Development LLC must repair, modify or permanently breach the dam. Madeline Mitchell, Cincinnati.com, "Springboro dam owners neglected proper safety repairs attorney general says," 7 Aug. 2019 When Congress adopts a comprehensive series of statutes, the executive’s ability to modify or alter those statutes through regulatory rulemaking — absent express delegations — is (and should be) profoundly limited. David French, National Review, "Another Judge Blocks Trump, and the Immigration Stalemate Drags On," 26 July 2019 Later, when sperm and egg come together, altered sncRNAs could modify the production of proteins at the very beginning of development in a way that ripples through the millions and millions of cell divisions that follow. Andrew Curry, Science | AAAS, "Parents’ emotional trauma may change their children’s biology. Studies in mice show how," 18 July 2019 Sponsor reserves the right to interpret and apply these Rules and Terms in its sole discretion, and to modify or terminate the Sweepstakes at any time. Denisa Protani, baltimoresun.com, "Alaska Airlines tickets for two," 14 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'modify.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of modify

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for modify

Middle English modifien, from Anglo-French modifier, from Latin modificare to measure, moderate, from modus

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Statistics for modify

Last Updated

27 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for modify

The first known use of modify was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for modify

modify

verb
How to pronounce modify (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of modify

: to change some parts of (something) while not changing other parts
grammar : to limit or describe the meaning of (a word or group of words)

modify

verb
mod·​i·​fy | \ ˈmä-də-ˌfī How to pronounce modify (audio) \
modified; modifying

Kids Definition of modify

1 : to make changes in modify a plan
2 : to lower or reduce in amount or scale In a little while familiarity modified their fears …— Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer
3 : to limit in meaning : qualify The word “green” in the phrase “green gloves” modifies the word “gloves.”
mod·​i·​fy | \ ˈmäd-ə-ˌfī How to pronounce modify (audio) \
modified; modifying

Medical Definition of modify

: to make a change in modify behavior by the use of drugs

Other Words from modify

modifiability \ ˌmäd-​ə-​ˌfī-​ə-​ˈbil-​ət-​ē How to pronounce modifiability (audio) \ noun, plural modifiabilities
modifiable \ -​ˈfī-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce modifiable (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on modify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for modify

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with modify

Spanish Central: Translation of modify

Nglish: Translation of modify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of modify for Arabic Speakers

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